November 3, 2017
The Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival — more commonly known as SEYA — will be held March 8-10, 2018. SEYA was created and organized by local librarians. Leading up to the event, we have arranged for eight Rutherford County Schools’ students from throughout the district to interview authors for a question-and-answer style story. These stories will publish on Fridays over the next few months before the festival. The first story — from Christiana Middle School eighth-grader Lauren Parks — is below.
By LAUREN PARKS
Eighth-grader, Christiana Middle School
Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is the author of many books, such as, “The 13th Sign,” “Selling Hope,” “A Dog Like Daisy,” and many, many more.
She resides in Middle Tennessee along with her husband, two children and three pets. She also has a passion for books, family and the great outdoors.
After reading a few of Tubbs’s amazing books, I'm looking forward to attending the SEYA Book Festival and seeing a lot of fun authors all in one place. And it's free.
I love reading because I am able to connect character to character related to my own life. It's changed my life by being able to see how others have lived, or how they live through realistic and historical fiction.
I enjoyed that I was able to connect with Tubb one-on-one. How many teens can say that?
LAUREN PARKS: Coming from "The 13th Sign" and "Selling Hope," have you ever thought of becoming an astronomer?
Kristin O’Donnell Tubb: I have kind of, yes! What I really wanted to be was an astronaut. I love space and started out studying aerospace engineering in college. There’s something beautiful and magical and mysterious and wondrous about space so it’s one of my favorite things to write about.
What's your favorite name you've ever given a character and why?
I really like the name Jalen, the name of the main character in “The 13th Sign.” It means “healer,” which has a special significance to the plot. (You have to read it to find out why.)
Coming from "The 13th Sign": If you could pick any zodiac sign to be, other than your own, which would you choose and why?
I love being an Aquarius, but I’ve always jokingly said I’m a wannabe Pisces. My husband and many of my best friends are Pisces. Pisces are very intuitive and selfless, which makes them wonderful friends, and they tend to be artistic and have high emotional intelligence. Plus, I’m a water-bearer now, and Pisces are the fish — not too much of a stretch.
Coming from "A Dog Like Daisy": How many pets have you or your family had in your lifetime? Can you name them?
I’ve had three dogs: Romeo (growing up), and Lucky and Cookie now. I’ve also had three cats: Sparkle and Brody (both gone now) and Nala. I love my pets, especially doing goofy voices for them, which led to “A Dog Like Daisy.”
When did your passion for learning, especially literature, start?
When I was in sixth grade, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview my favorite author, Madeleine L’Engle, by telephone. She wrote “A Wrinkle in Time,” my very favorite book. When I told her I wanted to be a writer, she said, “Good for you. Keep reading and you can do it.”
Two things about that stuck with me: she thought it was possible for me to be a writer, and that I could learn to do it by doing one of my favorite things — reading. I still think it’s one of the best jobs in the universe. I research by watching hours of YouTube, I make up words and stories and I get to meet awesome readers through events like SEYA.
Lauren Parks is pictured holding one of Kristen O’Donnell Tubb’s latest YA books. Tubb will be appearing at the March 8-10, 2018.